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Panther XC teams hope to peak at state meet Saturday in Sheridan

It’s the final race of the season for the Powell High School cross country teams and coach Cliff Boos said they will head to the State Cross Country Meet in excellent shape.

 

Powell will send the maximum seven runners to the starting line at the Veterans Administration Hospital grounds in Sheridan for the boys’ race, and five in the girls’ race. Teams are allowed to bring eight runners to the meet, and the boys will have one alternate on hand in case a runner isn’t ready for the gun.

There are only five girls on the varsity team, but that’s enough to earn a team score.

PHS finished fourth in the girls division of the Wyoming 3A West Conference Cross Country Meet Friday in Cody, while the boys claimed fifth. Boos was unwilling to make a prediction for state, but he said the runners all seem to be peaking right now.

He aims to ensure that happens by reducing their workouts this week and focusing on speed and conditioning.

“You don’t want to get soft now,” Boos said. “Just keep improving.”

He said the runners held workouts Monday and Tuesday but since Wednesday was an early release day, he advised the runners to work out on their own. Today (Thursday) and Friday, the thinclads will go through “light workouts,” Boos said.

For the boys, all-conference runner Zander Andreasen will lead the orange and black at state. Andreasen, a senior, finished 10th at the conference meet.

He will be joined on the state team by three other seniors: Matt Abraham, Grant Nickles and Quin Wetzel, as well as junior Ben Wetzel, the second PHS runner across the finish line Friday. Sophomores Tyson Wages and Robby Burke and freshman Matthew Waite will also head to state. Burke will be the alternate.

Junior Bailey Sanders, who was the team’s top finisher at the 2012 State Meet, will anchor the girls’ squad.

She will be joined by fast-improving freshmen Teo Faulkner and Kiley Cannon as well as steady seniors Sierra Morrow and Carly Klein.

The team will head to Sheridan Saturday morning, leaving early enough to allow time for a stop so they can stretch their legs in the middle of the three-hour drive, Boos said. The 3A boys race is set for 11 a.m., and the girls will run at 12:40 p.m.

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